Ex-Israeli army chief launches campaign to replace Netanyahuhttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/ex-israeli-army-chief-launches-campaign-to-replace-netanyahu-5559768/

Ex-Israeli army chief launches campaign to replace Netanyahu

Gantz is flaunting a tough military pedigree and emerging in the polls as Netanyahu's top rival. This highlights how security rules supreme in the minds of most Israeli voters.

Israeli military chief Lieutenant-General (R) Benny Gantz attends a news conference in Tel Aviv. (REUTERS)

Retired Israeli military chief Benny Gantz is launching his long-awaited political campaign, seeking to position himself as the first serious challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decade-long rule.

Gantz is flaunting a tough military pedigree and emerging in the polls as Netanyahu’s top rival. This highlights how security rules supreme in the minds of most Israeli voters.

The tall, telegenic ex-general with salty hair is still untarnished by partisan politics and has been riding a wave of popularity, even while saying little and presenting a vague ideological platform.

But the shine could quickly wear off following his speech later on Tuesday, when he is expected to finally lay out his agenda. Netanyahu’s allies are sure to brand Gantz as a “leftist” should he show any signs of moderation.